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Caterpillar Mucked Up a River, Illinois Claims

CHICAGO (CN) - Caterpillar dumped 65,000 gallons of oily industrial wastewater into the Des Plaines River, the people of Illinois claim in Will County Court. The discharge allegedly happened because a float switch and shut-off valve at the company's wastewater-processing plant in Joliet malfunctioned.

The state claims the preventable mishap "altered the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the Des Plaines River, and rendered that waterway injurious to wildlife, human health, and agricultural uses."

The plaintiffs demand $50,000 for each violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, plus $10,000 for each day of violation. They are represented by Rosemary Cazeau, chief environmental bureau assistant attorney general.

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